Family Legacies in Shaping Teen Mothers’ Caregiving Practices Over 12 Years
AbstractIn this article, the author focuses on the theme of family legacies. The research is based on a qualitative study of family caregiving practices in a cohort of teenage mothers and their families. Families were first interviewed in 1988-1989 and reinterviewed in 1993, 1997, and 2001. The author explored continuities and turning points in caregiving practices over the 12-year period. Eleven families participated at Time 4, including 9 mothers, 3 of their partners, 6 first-born children, and 9 grandparents of the children ( N = 27). At each time period, family caregiving legacies emerged as a salient theme as the mothers and partners described their concerns, accomplishments, and the resources for or impediments to becoming the parents they wanted to be. Four cases are presented to highlight how family legacies were refined, rejected, or modified over time. The author also describes implications of the findings for clinical practice and future research.